tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN December 19, 2020 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
. >> this is cnn breaking news. >> welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world him i'm wolf blitzer in washington. this is a special "situation room". a cdc advisory committee has just recommended moderna's covid-19 vaccine for people 18-years-old and older. this is the second vaccine for the coronavirus that is an approved for use here in the united states. pfizer was the first.
the cdc districtor is expected to give the final green light at any moment now. the chief operations officer says distribution can begin tomorrow. this as the country begins to see very worrying surgeons of new cases, hospitalization and death across the united states, some states are pushing hospitals to their breaking point. covid hospitalizations in california, for example, are at an all-time high right now with some icus reporting they are completely out of space. and there is more worrying news out of the uk right now, where a more contagious strain of the virus has emerged, forcing boris johnson to put them under critical lockdown, under way right now, over the next round of relief for millions and millions of suffering americans. but there are still some key divisions that remain and there are also other breaking news we
are following right now. it involves chaos. chaos inside the trump white house as we speak. this kind of comes right from the oval office after truly stunning suggestions about overturning the presidential election, which has now been officially administered by the electoral college. those conversations turned into very heated moments with president trump. let's go to jeremy dimon at the white house. it's hard to believe what we are learning now with only 32 days to go before the inauguration. >> that's right, wolf. what we are learning is that president trump is not just publicly continuing to contest the results of the election, that he lost to joe biden, but he is also privately grasping at straws looking for ways to overturn the results of this election and considering one outlandish idea after the next. we are told by sources familiar with the matter, the president had an oval office meeting just yesterday with key advisers, including sydney powell, the
attorney who has floated those conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, including suggesting the late leader hugo chavez was behind rigging this election. michael flynn, the president's former national security adviser who pleaded guilty to counts of lying to the fbi, ultimatally pardoned by president trump, they were both in the oval office. the president, we are told, was discussion naming sydney powell as a special counsel of sorts to investigate allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 election. the president also apparently raised this idea of floated previously this week by michael flynn about using marshall law in the united states to rerun the 2020 election. listen to what michael flynn was talking about here just a few days ago. >> he could order the, within the swing states, if he wanted to, he could take military capabilities and place them in those states and basically rerun
an election. it's not unprecedented. there's people out there talking about marshall law like it's something we have never done. marshall law has been zuted 64 times. >>. >> reporter: now, to be clear, wolf, there is no indication marshall law will be imposed by the president. the military made very clear they will have no role and involvement in contesting the results of this democratic election. but it is, nonetheless, remarkable to hear this was being discussed in the oval office. we are told this idea was shot down by other white house officials. among those pushing back on some of these more outlandish ideas, where the white house chief of staff mark meadows, in fact, they were contesting these ideas to the point the meeting grew ugly according to one source who spoke with cnn. this meeting grew heated. there were shouting matches at points during this meeting and sydney powell, apparently,
accused some white house officials of not acting forceful enough to turn over the 2020 election. this is remarkable stuff. we sometimes get numb to some of these things that we hear out of the white house. these outlandish things the president is considering. but this certainly hits the top of the list as we consider the fact that this the a president of the united states looking for ways to overturn the results of a democratic election. one more note, wolf, i had a source tell me the president has even floated the idea of not leaving the white house come inauguration day. that source told me that this was as the president is within his morocco dark and depressed moods about this election. they didn't think the president would ultimately do it. it seems the president is looking for one thing or another to try to remain in power. >> it's hard to believe, 32 days until he is the out, the former president of the united states, joe biden will be the president of the united states, despite what he's plotting, what he is trying to do right now.
if that were not enough, jeremy, we have the president also now finally speaking about about the massive cyber attack on the u.s. government of various fortune 500 companies here in the u.s. but the president is actually contradicting his own secretary of state, top u.s. intelligence officials, the chairman, the acting chairman i should say of the senate intelligence committee, marco rubio. tell us what is going on here. >> that's right, washington, even as the president is hyping up these claims of voter fraud in 2020 election, the notion of widespread voter fraud is completely debunked, he is downplaying the cyber attack that u.s. government officials increasingly believed was carried out by russia. the president taking to twitter this morning for his first public reaction to this massive cyber attack on u.s. government agencies, saying, quote, the cyber hack is far greater in the fake news media than in
actuality. i have been fully briefed. he goes on to say russia, russia, russia, is a priority chant when anything happens, main stream is petrified of discussing the possibility that it may be china. of course, u.s. government officials have made very clear all indications are that russia was, indeed, behind this attack. so much that mike pompeo just yesterday, he said that it's very clear at this point that russia was, indeed, behind this attack and, in fact, we are told, washington, that white house officials were drafting a statement just yesterday, attributing this attack to russia. that statement, though, was scratched and now you see what the president of the united states is tweeting. it's going to be very hard for u.s. intelligence and government officials to square the official conclusions with what the president of the united states is now tweeting out. >> and he slaps his own secretary of state, mike pompeo, who has been so loyal to him over these years and he publicly rid -- practically for all purposes ridicules him, pompeo
saying it was russia. the president saying it may be china, ridiculing this notion that china was involved. jeremy, i know you are running your sources. i want to go to capitol hill, manu raju is covering the important relief talks under way that will impact millions and millions of americans struggling to put food on the table, pay the rent. manu what is going on? where do things stand right now? >> reporter: well, congressional leaders are struggling to close out this deal, wolf. in large part, one side is dividing two sides, it's about whether or not to reign in the emergency lending authority created by the march stimulus law. that emergency authority, republicans believe, should wind down, should end. they believe it should be restricted and concerns if it continues, the new administration can use it in their view as a slush fund of sorts. democrats believe it would constrain the biden's
administration to respond to this economic crisis over days. we have been going back and forth, initially offered by senator putin toomey, toomey is now in discussions with senate democratic leader chuck schumer to cut a deal on this issue. the belief is they can find a way forward on this and the overall package $900 billion relief package could advance. now, there is still a lot of questions whether or not the bill can move as quickly and whether or not they can pass by sunday night, which is the new deadline that would require a lot of cooperation on both side of the aisle, particularly the united states senate, where any one individual senate can delay a final vote. it could happen given how many stakes are on this bill. how many are pushing for things that will not get in there. virtually no one seen details and the negotiation are among a small group of members. it appears very unlikely a deal will be reached. that means negotiations will
continue probably through the night tonight into tomorrow. they will try to see if they can bring a bill to the house floor as soon as tomorrow afternoon. we will see if they are able to get it by tomorrow night. there is a critical deadline at 11:59 when government funding runs out. these two issues now tied together because democrats and republicans want to tie this covid relief package to a bill to keep the government opened past tomorrow. if they don't get a deal on the covid plan, we'll once again be facing a government shutdown threat by tomorrow night, with so many people, wolf, are waiting. unemployment benefits are drying up. this bill would extend employment checks, as well as direct payments for $600 and threshold income to small business loans 80 billion for schools so so much is in this proposal. can they get there? how quickly can they get it done still remains a big question. >> i know you are working your source as well. we will get back to you, thank you very much. i want to bring in two co-chairs
of the house caucus. tom reed of new york, democratic congressman of new jersey, congressman, thanks, so much for joining us. i want to get to critical talks over desperately needed covid relief funds for the american people. let me get your reaction to this extremely disturbing news you heard from our jeremy dimon. congressman, what do you think when the president of the united states is raising all these absurd possibilities of trying to overturn an election the electoral college has already certified and ratified and approved, even talking about the possibility of raising the possibility of fought leaving the white house on january 20th. when you hear this kind of stuff, congressman, what goes through your minds? >> well, i think you just said it best, the electoral college certified the results. the supreme court has spoken. the lower courts have spoken. we have a huge challenge that's facing our country right now
with the spike in the so-to-speak and, of course the hacks, russia. we have a lot to focus on. joe biden will be sworn in on january 20th just days from now. that's what we should focus on getting there, getting this relief out the door. to me, i would hope the president and everyone in this country in washington is focused on getting this deal done to help the country. >> 32 days from now. congressman reed, what itself your reaction? >> well, wolf, obviously, first of all, there are millions of americans disappointed like myself that president trump didn't win this election on election day and there are serious concerns about fraud. now we are talking about the transition of power. i think everyone needs to take a deep breath. i think we need to recognize what's made our country strong for 200-plus years. it's been a beacon of peaceful transition of power across the globe is we go through this process and elections is where we resolve our disputes. so when you hear rhetoric like there. i wasn't there i don't know the details.
if there is rhetoric like that, we need to keep the pig picture of america's stability in focus. i would be of the camp, let us take a deep breath and go forward with the transition of power leak we had for a couple hundred years here. >> and let joe biden become president. he was elected. he got 7 million more votes than trump did and easily won the electoral college as well. let's move to the subject i want to discuss, what's going on with this really dramatically needed economic stimulus package for millions of americans? congressman, what itself the latest? why is this taking so long? this should have been done a long time ago. millions of americans are suffering. especially now only days away from christmas. they're worried, they will be kicked out of their own homes, won't be able to feed their kid, the day after christmas. >> i mean, it's absurd. we got a few scrooges trying to steal christmas at the end here. wolf.
we will stop them. get this done. we're in spitting distance. we're hearing, i am optimistic this is going to get done and agreed to sometime tomorrow. we will vote on it tomorrow in the house or possibly the next day. the bottom line as you just said, wolf, people are hurting in our country. we need to get vaccine out and people on the food lines for the very first time. people on december 26th will lose her to employment and people evicted from their homes we got so many small businesses that are suffering, 30% in my state of new jersey have already gone out one in 500 people have lost their lives in jersey from the pandemic. this cannot wait an hour longer, which is why we have been working, the problem solvers caucus along with our senate colleagues in a bipartisan way, we have been working for months. i am optimistic it will get done right away. >> if you look at the numbers, in one week, almost 900,000 americans lost their jobs,
largely because of the covid pandemic. 900 millions applied for the first time unemployment benefits according to u.s. department of labor. about 8 million or 10 million americans over these past several months have now gone into poverty. what is your assessment? when is this legislation going to be passed, signed into law by the president? >> i will tell you the intel that josh and i got with us at the problem solvers caucus. we have been working tires willy on this for months now, particularly with our bipartisan, gang of eight there, the intel we have is we are down to this one last issue it appears with the federal reserve reported there on capitol hill. and i think that's resolvable. because i think everyone recognizes, we've made a commitment. we are not leaving washington, d.c. without answering the call of the american people. it is time to stand down and do the work of the people rather than having everyone and their special interests, their little
pieces of the puzzle that feel that they're going to be hurt if this goes into law fight this deal and the deal is being done to the american people. i believe we will get this through the house hopefully tomorrow. once this final federal reserve archaic in the weeds detail. it's an important issue. it deals with the structure of the federal reserve. it needs to be dealt with. i am confident, good men, good women of good faith hearts can solve this problem. they are working on it. they will get it done. we will get this to the marine people starting to early. >> i hope it happens, congressman, how are they, what are they going to do about this one issue involving the federal reserves, the republican senators have been pushing it supposedly to tie the hands of the incoming biden administration. they won't have this issue. they won't have this policy that's been around for a long time to deal with, remove some flexibility for them in dealing with potential economic recessions. what do you think? >> i mean, it's a red herring on
the last minute to jam things up. this is about getting emergency short-term pandemic relief out to people and to helping people at a time of great need as we're aprofessoring christmas here. as you said, people will be hungry. we need to get direct payments out to help our business and communities that are in real trouble. so the idea that we would have somebody throw a wrench in here to try to stop it is absurd. i think my understanding is they're working through it. they have found a compromise to deal with that issue. we can get back to doing what we need to do, which is getting this passed. i have been talking about this, we have been working on this for months. it's so frustrating. people are hurting. the idea that people will delay relief to families right now, the cases spiking, 310,000 more lost their lives in our country, it's a whole gut wrenching moment in our country. those that try to throw in these last-minute things should be ashamed of themselves.
>> it's hard to believe this is going on right here in the richest country in the world, the united states of america, they're haggling over ridiculous things and preventing the desperately needed funds to help these people in desperate need. i know both of you are working very hard to get this done. thanks, for the bipartisanship, thanks, for joining us. we're awaiting the final signoff for the moderna vaccine from the cdc director dr. robert redfield. that's expected any moment now. we'll bring it to you. this hours after a key recommendation from the cdc advisory committee today. so what a second vaccine needs for the fight against the virus, we have new information. we'll share it with you when we come back. job, it's our mission. from our expert technicians armed with state of the art tools and technology, to genuine parts made for the perfect fit. whether it's our place... ...or yours. we're there.
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last night the vaccine that was issued emergency use authorization from the fda. the second eua emergency use authorization of the agency has granted this month. the first one was from pfizer. it all means americans could be getting both vaccines early next week. they're already receiving the pfizer vaccine. joining me now is dr. jeff philips chief of gorge washington hospital here in nation's capital and a member of the biden covid-19 advisory board. thanks, doctors, to both of you for joining us. doctor, what itself your reaction to this news? what is the addition of a second approved vaccine from this fight against this very deadly virus? >> wolf, this vaccines are on a same design. but there is one critical difference is that the pfizer
requires freezing at the deep frozen temperatures, while the moderna vaccine can be stored in a regular freezer. so that makes a big difference of what they can handle this vaccine to distribute to rural areas and to doctor's offices. so this does give us another tool, effective tool against the virus. >> these two vaccines that dr. philips are for adults really. one, if you are 16 and older, one if you are 18 and older. but what about children? when do you think they're going to be able to get a vaccine? they're going to give data i assume for 12-year-old, up to 16 or 18-year-olds sometime in 2021? >> that's right, washington, so moderna has some data in younger folks, 16 and older. but we don't have any data yet on children, school age children that you know as a father, i
know are you a father, too. we think about that in two terms. one, we want our children to be safe. second, we recognize the importance of school and child care when it comes to opening schools and the economy in general. so for a couple of reasons, we're in good shape. the first one is, our kids are not dying at the same rate that adults are. we are very lucky amongst at lot of luck with this virus that our children are not being affected as much as we are. so there's cause that we will be able to delay this with some less concern than we might otherwise. so if we have to wait a while for kids, i think that's probably okay. the data is necessary, though, we don't have the safety and efficacy that we need for children. but that will come. >> i assume it will come relatively soon. fairly soon. doctor, there was unwelcome news out of the uk, the prime minister boris johnson announcing new coronavirus
restrictions as scientists in the uk say they've detected what they've described as a new strain of the virus up to potentially 70% more transmissible so what does that mean? >> well, as sure as the sun rises and sets, viruses spread and they mutate. that is what viruses do. so this is not surprising that there have been mutations in the virus. it is unclear if this really is a more transmissible virus. we know based on people's behaviors, their movements, patterns, so on, that unfortunately public health guidance has not been followed stringently enough to prevent transmission. so what we are seeing in the uk is pandemic, epidemic, that's out of control, spreads that's out of control and the need for more stringent interference with public health recommendations. i think it's a bit of a stretch to say that this virus has convincingly mutated in a way that's made it more
transmissible. i think there is still research that needs to be done on that front and time will tell. but i think the big picture. the real question is, will the virus mutate. it is mutating in the perspective of a vaccine nation. we do not think this is a virus that mutates like the flu. so any vaccine nation you receive now will still likely be good for at least a couple years and perhaps beyond that. >> let's hope that's true. you know, dr. philips, we are seeing the results right now, they're awful results here in the united states. thanksgiving is playing out in hospitals across the country. record hospitalizations, record numbers of cases. record numbers of deaths on a daily basis. what are your concerns as we approach christmas, kwaunz, new years right now? >> well, i think the short-term future is bleak. we take a look at what's happening in southern california, zero% icu capacity available. what that means is hospitals in our end, in similar situations
across the country will be having to convert regular hospital beds into icu beds. while that's possible, staffing is a major issue. there are hospitals across the country desperate for nursing help and desperate for nursing help means that you are not going to get the people to staff those beds. so you can convert them. there is no one to take care of them. care suffers. this week we are starting to see that spike in hospitalizations a result of travel during thanksgiving. just imagine what southern california is feeling right now with zero% icu california two weeks from now, four weeks from now when the christmas surge hits in mid-january. i think it's important that people reluctant to stay home because of covid, because they think it's a hoax or don't believe the scenes, they need to remember that people don't ends up in icu because of covid. if you have a heart attack, trauma, some other medical condition that flares up.
you need an icu bed. you won't have it. it will be rationing care. so please stay home. because there is only going to get worse across the country the next month. >> as usual, thanks, so much for joining us. thanks to you as well, good luck. i know you are working on that biden advisory council as far as covid is concerned. thanks to both of you. an important note, join anderson cooper to learn how the country defeated the 1918 pandemic. the new cnn special report pandemic, how a virus changed the world in 1918. that begins at 9:00 p.m. eastern right after our special situation room. now, we have much more on all the breaking news unfolding this hour. new details emerging right now, the very heated oval office meeting over at the white house on friday, where trump allies actually floated, believe it or not the idea of enacting marshall law here in the united states as a way to overturn the
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the breaking news this saturday night from the white house. a truly explosive meeting in the oval office. truly outlandish ideas brought to the president of the united states to try to overturn the election that now has been officially certified by all 50 states and the district of colombia as well as the electoral college i want to bring in our political commentator michael smirkonish. you can watch him every saturday. a regular viewer, mile. when you hear about marshall
law. marshall law being discussed in the oval office merely to defy the will of the majority of american voters, who goes through your mind? >> it's scary. i also think maybe i'm misjudged the situation, washington. as i've noted with you on prior saturday nights, the goal posts keep shifting. it was election day november 3rd. then we talked about the electoral college december 14. now the trump focus has shifted to the congressional actions on january the 6th and i have believed that it's all a cash grab and that on january 6th, there will be something else that will enable the president to continue to fund raise all the way until january 20. after all, he's raised more than $200 million since election day, 66 plus million for the save america pack. i thought it was all about funding him for 2024, should he seek to run again. now, i'm starting to think he really believes this.
these are the types of conversations to enter taken in the of course office. he must buy into the idea thing was stolen despite the complete lack of evidence. the question i am wondering is, how far must it go before the base abandons him? >> that's a great question. you are right, it is very, very disturbing. like you, i always assume it was money, money, money. he was trying to raise money. he's already raids more than 200 million, probably another 100 million before he leaves office on january 20th. he will have that to spend in all sorts of ways. you are right, this is so disturbing. on top of that michael, we have the president seemingly rejecting the words of his own secretary of state mike pompeo, the major cyber attack against the united states. the president suggesting, well, maybe it was china. why do you guys always say russia, russia, russia, listen to what the secretary of state said in his own words on friday.
>> there was a significant effort to use a piece of third-party software to essentially embed code inside of u.s. government systems and now it appears systems of private companies and companies and governments across the world as well. this was a very significant effort and i think it's the case that now we can say pretty clearly, it was the russians that engaged in this activity. >> so he's very clear. why did the president of the united states contradict one of his most loyal advisers, mike pompeo, why did he suggest it may have been china and why is the president always refusing to say anything critical about putin and russia? especially heard chris kuhns, senator kuhns equate this with an act of war. i heard senator romney say this is the equivalent of a spycraft flown by russia across the united states doing reconnaissance. so it's egregious and accepted
by all except the president. here comes my cynicism. it has to be because he holds a debt of gratitude to putin for the efforts he played in the 2016 election. there is no other explanation. there have been countless instances all during the course of this administration, where it was obvious that russia needed to be reprimanded and, wolf, i can't think of a single instance where the president has risen to that challenge. >> i think marco rubio, the senator from florida. he's the acting chairman of the senate intelligence community. a member of the gang of eight, which is prif why i to the most sensitive information, tweeted about the president's remarks to china, increasingly clear that russian intelligence created the greatest cyber intrusion in assessing the damages under way, remediation will take time and significant resources, our response must be proportional but significant.
it's hard to believe the president would contradict marco rubio who has been very loyal to him as we all know and the secretary of state, but unfortunately that's what's going on right now and you make some good points. michael smirkonish, as usual, thank you for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. just 32 days remain for the trump administration and new details are emerging right now about the request for pardons flooding into the white house. will the president actually go ahead and pasrdon himself? we'll discuss when we come back. >> > mom, dad.
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. 32 days remain in the trump administration. this week, we learned his west wing staff has actually been so deluged with pardon requests they had to go with a spread sheet to keep track. but the most anticipation surrounds around this question. will president trump try to pardon himself? former u.s. attorney and senior legal analyst are joining us
right now. there is nothing in the constitution that says a president can pardon himself or herself for that matter. but there is nothing that says he can't. what do you think will happen if this president were to pardon himself? >> well, i think you and i will talk about it. lots of experts will talk about it. the vast majority may be close to unanimous and they say you can't pardon yourself. they've made it clear that you can't pardon yourself. that the text structure tradition of the constitution makes it clear you can't pardon yourself and in the works of the basic and fundamentals of the system, if you can be the judge in your own case. notwithstanding that. as we may discuss and as you have been discussion on the show, the president is having conversations about the insurrection act and marshall law with a previously guilty pleaing national security adviser michael flynn.
if he is talking about those kind of things in a serious way in the actual oval office. i think there the a reasonable chance he will try to submit a piece of paper or have a paper drawn up that serves as a self pardon. what will happen? not a lot other than talk until there comes a time and there may never come a time, a prosecutor decides to file a criminal charge. then you lit ga it this question whether or not that pardon he issued for himself is legitimate valid and provides an actual defense. until then, i think it's a lot of talk. >> and even if he were to pardon himself, if it were approved, it doesn't prevent a state attorney, a district attorney in manhattan, for example, an attorney general in new york state or other states from going and filing charges. those would not be impacted at all. as you point out, we learned today, you know, that the trump campaign legal team actually sent a memo to dozens of its
staffers ordering them to preserve all documents related to the dominion voting system and sydney powell, the president's attorney, she was removed at one point, she's had all these legal concepts as we all know. it's anticipated the company may sue powell who is a staunchly pro-trump demanding public retraction on her claims. what do you think about all this? >> look, michael smirkonish, sorry, i stumbled on the names, said i'd well, the goal posts keep changing. we keep thinking we are sort of done with the nonsense on election day. we thought we were done with the nonsense when the election was called for biden and you have the elector's vote and everything happen. it seems every day for the next 32 days, will you have some talk about this kind of thing. i think it is worthwhile to note that all the while i've had disagreements with and been critical of other lawyers around the president, there is a
distinction between you know the credibility of the white house counsel, who according to reports knocked down some of these suggestion and michael flynn and sydney powell, there is a distinction between those folks who draw some line and these other individuals who are outside of the government, rudy and sydney powell, for example, that i think will hold the line a little bit and hopefully those lawyers will persuade the president not to do these unprecedented things even in the face of having lost decisively an election both in the electoral college and the popular vote. i do want to commend the lawyers who remember what the rules are in an tistation of litigation taleing various officials to make sure they preserve documents, with i is the right and proper legitimate ethical things that lawyers do. but there are some lawyers who ga way, way, way beyond the pail, that includes sydney powell. >> why do you think the president is doing this? the u.s. supreme court didn't want to hear this challenge, the
electoral college officially ruled that the biden won the election even the outgoing attorney general bill barr said there was no evidence of widespread fraud. the president continues to pursue this. why? >> i think there are two reasons. sand i'm a little more alarmed about the second reason. the first reason is he's going to lose, he doesn't want to look like a loser. he has said reportedly, he's not grand jury to say he lost, he's going to say he didn't win. these distinctions mean a lot to him linguistically. he wants to create a narrative in which he can say he didn't lose, it was a cheated, it was a cheating election and it was stolen from him. and we get that from all the moves he has been making and his lawyers have been making. the second reason is, i think he does somewhere in his mind hold out some hope that there is a hail mary pass. when he goes to bed at night, he dreams of a way that he can
maybe save himself and overturn the election. it's an increasingly dwindling number of human beings with brains in this country who are feeding him that. the people closest to him, it's been reported, are looking for other work. they intend to be in, you know, stable jobs after the administration over, but you have this tiny number of people who are not living on earth one. rudy guiliani, sydney powell and others who he likes to listen to because they tell him what he wants to hear. so if there was some way, i don't think there is, i am calm about it, but if there were some way, some dramatic move he could make, a hail mary pass he could throw, he would throw it. >> he's trying to throw it. that's what he is doing. it's very, very disturbing. preet, thank you, very, very much. also tonight, parts of the uk are going back under lockdown after a surge experts say is due to a more contagious strain of the coronavirus. we'll go to london when we come back. (gong rings) - this is joe.
the british government this weekend telling people in much of the united kingdom to cancel their christmas travel plans and prepare for a near total lockdown. it's a very severe set of restrictions that go into effect sunday in hopes of stopping the spread of the coronavirus. cnn's reporter is in london with more details. >> reporter: wolf, if you packed your bags, unpack them. that's the message from the british government as they oppose 11th hour coronavirus restrictions. the prime minister is finally bowing down to mounting pressure to put tougher new measures into place to deal with a spike in cases. the prime minister says that the
spread is caused by a new variant of coronavirus that is 70% more transmissible. so what's the solution? well, starting sunday, london and the affected areas will go into tier four restrictions. that means shutting down all nonessential shops, calling on people to stay at home and work from home, and travel will be banned. a five-day relaxation period that had been sedge escheduled canceled. many are asking why they are acting so last minute when health experts have been calling for these measures for days. >> thank you very much. we're learning also new details tonight of a rather heated oval office meeting where president trump's allies actually floated the idea of enacting martial law here in the united states as a way to overturn the presidential election. we'll go live to the white house wen we come back. less sick days! cold coming on?
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this is cnn breaking news. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. this is a special "situation room". right now, a second vaccine to fight covid is just one final step away from the go ahead to start moving and shots going into arms. this second vaccine from moderna got the formal recommendation for approval from the cdc's advisory committee today. now it just needs a final nod from the cdc director, and that final step we're tol